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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  April 29, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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self-expression, some civil rights and not stand for all. we cannot be the custodians of intolerance and beg for freedom and tolerance and understanding and one nation at the same time. collins deserves all of our embrace because collins brought us closer to how we must all stand for all of us to have, one nation with one right under god, with liberty and justice for all. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. war song. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews back in washington. let me start with this. the hawks sing from the same song sheet. have you noticed?
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the same chorus of neocons and good old-fashioned hawks out there now doing it again like they did with iraq and will be doing again with iran. they're all on the same page. ready? here it comes. if we don't get engaged militarily in syria, syria, that will lead to a war with north korea and iran. got it? if we don't fight assad in syria, we'll be fighting the mullahs in iran and kim jong-un in north korea. is there a clearinghouse, a conference call where everyone in the choir gets the tune right for the next war? i listened to all this this last time. heard the same rhapsody played over and over how easy it would be, what a cakewalk it was going to be going into iraq, how there would be a mushroom cloud over america if we didn't attack and didn't attack then. here it comes again. if you can tell the difference between what mccain and graham and john bolton are saying this week, the message is familiar. let's get into this one. two to war with another islamic country because it's going to be so easy, another piece of cake. david corn for "mother jones" magazine and bobby ghosh editor
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of "time" international. i love you talking to what's his name? who's the guy -- the guy who tells the republicans how to talk. >> oh, frank luntz? >> you were the guy who broke the story. let's talk about the iranian argument. came up this weekend by senator lindsey graham and congressman mike rogers. if the president doesn't act, they say, the mullahs in tehran will not take them seriously. let's watch. >> if we keep this hands-off approach to syria, this indecisive action toward syria, kind of not knowing what we're going to do next, we're going to have a war with iran because iran's going to take our inaction in syria as meaning we're not serious about their nuclear weapons program. >> the problem is, you know, the president has laid down the line. he, you know, can't be a dotted line. it can't be anything other than
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a red line. in more than just syria, iran is paying attention to this. north korea is paying attention to this. >> well, john bolton, the hawk's hawk, and president bush's former u.n. ambassador echoed or wrote, for example, those lines in a "wall street journal" column today. an op-ped, he wrote "if mred, h obama allows this red line to be crossed unanswered, is that his latest act of foreign policy fecklessness? provided further proof to iran, north korea and other adversaries, whether states or terrorists, that he's not a force to be reckoned with." you're a student of this. >> unfortunately, yes. >> who passes out the song sheet? they all say the same thing. unless we go to this war, we can't go to the next war. we will go to the next war. day want all these wars. >> it's a neocon, hawkish. they're all part of the same unit here. i don't think they need to be cued.
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they're at this point already. they've never met a foreign policy crisis where a military intervention and more of it wasn't the right answer. and the thing that gets me about this particular line of argument is, if you talk to anyone who knows anything about any of this, all the military options are really difficult. they may not even be effective. i ran into a congress -- a democrat -- >> they don't care as long as they're in it. >> they don't care as long as we're in it. ask lindsey graham, what is your plan? what do you want to do? it's always do something, do something. but why should we do anything that won't work, or that might be ineffective just because iran will go after, laugh at us if we don't? it is backward logic. it's like they're playing a game with the lives of the americans who they will sacrifice to show that they're tough. >> bobby ghosh, you know, i think it was de gaulle who said to henry kissinger, why are you fighting in vietnam? he said, for our credibility. he said, with whom? he said, the middle east. he said, you think they're listening to this? and my question to you, bobby, let's look at the options. david mentioned them. what can we do over there if we wanted to make the war go a slightly different direction, what can we do? >> not a whole lot. let's be clear, the united states isn't the only party interested. there are plenty of other
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parties doing things. arming rebels, the rebels are getting arms. they're not just dropping out of the sky. there are countries in the neighborhood that are giving them arms. the obama administration has looked at this carefully and gamed this out and don't see many alternatives leading to a positive outcome. perhaps the president misspoke when he used the term red line. i think if they had to do this all over again, they would not have used that particular phrase. >> i understand. >> they were not thinking of this when they used this phrase. they were thinking like when saddam hussein killed hundreds of kurds, we had pictures of mothers living in the street dead. that was the red line. these chemical weapons turning up in the hands of hezbollah and being used in israel. that's what the red line was about. this is not the red line the administration had -- >> let's get both sides of this. i'll start with david and get back to you on this.
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this is an interesting part. why do you think assad -- do you think assad agreed to the use, in a limited case, perhaps? if he knew that was a cause for war? >> we have no idea who gave the order, who used it. maybe there's some classified intelligence out there. the last time around with iraq, you have to be careful when people start citing classified intelligence without telling what's in it. anybody who wants to have a serious conversation about this has to read "the new york times" story yesterday. the front page. about the nature of the opposition in syria. it lays out -- >> they're not our guys. >> they're not our guys. some of them are. the ones that are are not the ones doing the fighting. and, you know, this is the situation, like, it seemed like a good idea to arm the mujahadin at a time. we empowered them to become the taliban. and everything's a little bit different. but if you read that piece, you'll see why the obama people are proceeding slowly, cautiously, and deliberately because there's not a lot of people -- >> by the way, charlie wilson's war became. as david mentioned right then, "the new york times" reported this weekend that the fighting forces overwhelmingly composed of extremely groups including groups linked to al qaeda. "across syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with islamic courts, staffed by lawyers and clerics
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and by fighting brigades led by extremists. whose formation hoped would sideline radical groups are stocked with commanders who want to infuse islamic law into a future syrian government. nowhere in syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of." bobby, i want your thoughts. is there some group over there we could be helping that would eventually perhaps help dominate the new government, the post-assad government, or end up like lebanon, with assad creating a logger, if you will, where they create a part of the country loyal to them they can hold on to indefinitely and therefore we'd be arming one of the various groups fighting with each other? >> that is now the greatest risk.
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you have a lebanon situation where you have different ethnic and religious groups that are constantly fighting with each other for power and any kind of political solution is an unstable one. this needn't have come to this place. i will say two years ago there were lots of groups in the fight that were secular is not the right word, but that were liberal, should we say, and that were not linked to al qaeda. but those groups were essentially pushed out of the night. al qaeda-connected groups were the only ones getting active outside help at the time and they took to -- they also, of course, many of them are experienced fighters from other conflicts so they were taking the sort of forward position. they led the fight. >> i understand. >> and eventually they came to dominate it. right now there are relatively few groups available there for whom we can say these guys are reliable and we can own them.
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>> let me ask you about this problem we have. military logistics and military strategy. if we start flying over the country, they apparently have a tremendously state of the art soviet system, russian-backed more recently, of any aircraft capability. missiles. they can shoot anything that goes overhead. we get in there, we start losing pilots and start losing planes and start getting captives. how can you bail out over damascus? >> any casual talk of a no-fly zone, even a sort of safe haven for refugees, you know, has to be looked at with a grain of salt. because of the sophisticated air defense system built by the russians, we, you know, it's not libya. we can't do this. you will probably have to put some boots on the ground and have a sort of more extensive operation against their extensive anti-air operation and have a -- >> guys like mccain who understands the military history of our country and who is a patriot. i know he's on the right. he moves further right
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sometimes. bolton is an ideologue about the middle east. why would mccain? is it sticking it to obama do you think? >> i hope it's not. let's put it that way. they do seem to have this grand world view of this notion of, you know, we got to be tough here, be tough there, be tough there, to be tough there. regardless of being tough here is in our interest of not. it keeps playing that way. i talked to people in the administration. they raise other options. perhaps if there's a proof of chemical weapon use that is more than just minimal that they could have a limited military strike. you remember back before the iraq war, when we were arguing about this. bush made it seem like two options, do nothing or a full-scale invasion. the white house is looking to send a signal, a message if they get to that point. having an expensive military operation, no-fly zone, safe
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havens, all that, for reasons bobby mentioned and others, it's really difficult to contemplate. what the end game is. >> let's go to the part of the "wall street journal" we all trust, the front page. much different than the other side. "damascus has developed a world class air defense system, built, installed and maintained largely in secret by russia's military complex presents a formidable deterrent. as the white house draws up options for its u.s. intelligence report released last week concluding damascus likely used chemical weapons on the battlefield." bobby, couple questions for you. what do you know about the anti-aircraft capability over there? can we use the israeli approach of shooting diagonally through missiles you go ten miles away from your target and target the missiles to your target? the other larger question is, is this war going to go on and on and on if we stay out of it? >> it is going to go on and on and on. i don't think sending manned aircraft into -- we know that -- look, i don't know the capabilities. i'm not a military expert. i don't know the capabilities of people who are actually on the controls of those systems. but there's no question that those systems are very, very advanced and spent a lot of money on it.
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every expert i know of respects the hardware if not the people running the hardware. sending manned missions over to syria is completely out of the question. and, you know, we're not the only party involved here. turkey is next door and has looked very closely. the turkish army is a quite formidable fighting force. compared to syria's. they concluded they don't want to get involved although they have a huge refugee crisis at their doorstep. the turks don't want to get involved in the fight and it's right there next to them in their neighborhood, i'm not sure anybody in this country can make a legitimate argument for the united states to send manned aircraft into syrian airspace. >> who are we going to make friends with if we start using drones? to blow up people within damascus and all the collateral damage? >> we already see the consequences of using drones in afghanistan, pakistan, and yemen and the resentments it's causing. it's very problematic. i'm not even -- given the extensive nature of the air
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defense system and the way their chemical weapons are spread out, i mean, we can't do this with just drones. drones target individuals and hopefully high-level individuals, not always, but that's the theory. >> i'm going with einstein on this one. spend 90% of your time figuring out what you're doing before you do it. thank you, david corn and bobby ghosh. coming up, she hasn't been nominated. she hasn't won a primary. she hasn't announced. the republican right is trying to take hillary down. also for the first time ever, an active player in a major american sport has come out as gay. it's jason collins. whether his announcement is met with a shrug or shunning will tell us how far sports and the public have come in accepting gays. also you probably heard president obama is getting great reviews for his performance at saturday's white house correspondents' dinner. >> some people don't think i spent enough time with congress. why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell, they ask. really? why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell?
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>> i think that was my favorite. behind the jokes, that one, there's a lot of truth behind what he was saying. as always, the punch line carries the message. let me finish tonight with the hawks. two-step dance to sell american wars we shouldn't get into. they're familiar. and this is "hardball." the place for politics. i describe myself as a mother, a writer and a performer. i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen
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and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better. pennsylvania's republican governor tom corbett continues to be on thin political ice. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. according to a new quinnipiac poll, former u.s. congressman joe sestak leads corbett by 14 points right now. 48%-34%. allison schwartz beats him by 13 points. 37%-34%. rob mccord, the least known of corbett's potential rivals has a nine-point lead over the governor. the election is a year away. actually a year and a half. lots of time to change. corbett looks like he's in trouble. don't bet against the incumbent governor in pennsylvania. they have never lost.
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welcome back to "hardball." how afraid are the republicans of hillary clinton in 2016? so afraid some of them have already started swift voting her if you will trying to blame her for benghazi. leading the charge right now, house oversight committee chair darrell issa of california. here he describes the report that he says shows clinton, quote, denied, closed quote, security for the benghazi consulate because her signature appears on a cable to that effect.
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>> secretary of state was just wrong. she said she did not participate in this, and yet only a few months before the attack, she outright denied security in her signature in a cable april 2012. >> well, the charge is outrageous for anybody who knows what they're talking about. the secretary of state's signature, by way, her name appears on all sorts of cables that two out. her nail. to prove it, here's the wording from the state department handbook. "the communications center will place the name of the secretary on all telegrams to posts." in the "washington post" today, the fact checker column beautifully and hilariously illustrates the range of such cable, e-mail, that bear a secretary of state's name. they include an advisory about a shortage of hotel rooms in liberia. january 2009. that was also signed, if you will, by secretary condoleezza rice in that case. a listing of new office phone numbers in the brazzaville embassy in the republic of the congo signed again by secretary clinton. perhaps the best of all, a cable signed, if you will, by clinton about e-mail etiquette, like
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tips avoiding all-cap letters. it's perceived as shouting she said, or somebody did. i know firsthand all sorts of cables come signed by the secretary of state. when i was in the peace corps in africa, i got one signed by william rogers who was then secretary of state. i knew it was not coming from him personally. joining me "the huffington post's" howard fineman and's joan walsh. anyone who knows anything about foreign policy knows all mail, cables, whatever they're called these days, they are e-mail, coming from washington, bear the name kerry like they've done all the way back to jefferson when they went by the pony express or whatever. this is hilarious. i want to start with you, joan. this is hilarious that darrell issa, the new investigative genius of the republican party, has nailed on to this being so stupid as to say hillary signed all these things. your thoughts? >> these guys, it's like they have benghazi fever and making them really dopy, chris.
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this is embarrassing. the rudimentary fact check, a low-level staffer could have figured this out. it shows he has no working knowledge of how the state department actually proceeds and doesn't seem to care to push this. and, you know, his friends on fox, practically calling secretary clinton a liar. it's sort -- it metastasized over there. it's so easily debunked it didn't really enter the mainstream media bloodstream. they went after the president with this stuff. they thought they could do something last november. it never got traction. now you're right. they're throwing everything they can at secretary clinton because they're scared of 2016. >> you know, i said, howard, before we got started, joan came on as well, i talked about how they've got the same exact line on damascus, on going to war in syria. of course, you can argue about that issue. we'll probably argue about it here for months, whether we do anything or not. for some reason they're singing
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from the same song sheet. it's like word association with these people. we had a guy on last week, rick tower, here he is. look what he had to say. he was on "hardball" here friday and he, too, had the same song sheet that says benghazi, if hillary's name comes up. here he is. >> i think the country would be thrilled no nominate a woman and i think that would be fine. but hillary i think has a big problem. i think benghazi, frankly, disqualifies her. >> disqualifies her. because her name appeared on a document somewhere that appears on every document coming from the state department. >> well, there are two things going on here, chris. the widest lens is that the republicans are desperate to somehow try to get back the advantage that they once had on who's tougher on defense? you know, who's the more aggressive person in terms of projecting strength and power around the world? the president has done a pretty darn good job, this president has done a very good job of it substantively and politically. so that's number one.
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>> in fact, he's gotten so far to the right of some of the people on the left. >> a lot of people on the left are after him for exactly that. >> the drones and everything else. >> exactly. they have a problem because that's been a republican calling card for more than a generation. >> all the way through the cold war. >> yes. they lost it under obama. that's the big picture. as far as 2016 is concerned, of course, hillary clinton's incredibly popular. she has every chance of unifying the democratic party. keeping it together in the way that for the most part the president has done. >> do they believe they can stain her with this? >> i think they're at the position now where they're just trying to spread whatever tacks on the highway they can. they don't care what they are. do they think this is going to be the killer issue? they're trying also, i think, to look for some cable somewhere within the state department that they really can use and what they would love to do, what their dream is, to somehow set up some kind of conflict between hillary clinton and the president of the united states. which hasn't happened and probably won't happen. >> the main chancers.
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looking for that one -- >> they're looking for that one -- they're not going to find it. >> jackie gleason was looking for the one thing that was going to make him a success. this is going to make me. they're out there saying if we an get her on something that's morally wrong, where she saw some guy in trouble, i think their dream is she's sit there, the call comes in, you want to help? oh, no, don't help him. that's what they want. your thoughts. she is beloved by women, especially, men my age, in fact, most of them. people figure she has earned the right to be taken quite seriously as the next president. >> i think they're terrified. i mean, she's a very formidable candidate. we talked about how she can't take anything for granted. she may not run, chris, as we know. they're very much afraid of her. they don't have anybody who competes in her sphere. and so i think it's a lot that -- and it's the -- you know, they are going to go back to the old clinton rules. and they're going to try to taint her with anything they can find. and it just -- it doesn't ever
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ultimately stick to her. and, you know, i think they'll keep trying with benghazi, but i don't see why they'll get anywhere. i don't think they're going to find that cable that shows that she was culpable or didn't care or didn't try. >> i think they have no doubt that she's runs and i think -- >> they got nobody to beat her. >> they don't have anybody to beat her. roger ailes who's a very shrewd newsman as well as a political guy is looking at his audience at fox and thinking, you know, that's the -- she's the person that people at fox are concerned about. that's for sure. >> really? i mean, i didn't know that. you mean, you're assuming or knowing? >> no, i'm assuming. >> good assumption. here's why republicans are focused so intensely on hillary. a new poll shows hillary clinton's favorability numbers in new hampshire, interesting place, are 88% favorable. 5% unfavorable. you know, joe, they got a long way to drive up her unfavorable. i don't know anybody besides santa claus that's in the single digits. >> let's get her to 10 or 11 and they'll have a fighting chance. i think what howard said is very
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interesting because the fox demographic may be the the last demographic where they think they have a prayer of demonizing her and bringing back -- you know, she was not liked by that demographic, but i think even that demographic has enormous respect for her, especially the women in that demographic. >> i wonder whether roger, if he's behind this as you suggest, he may well believe it's good money for the network, he has the same attitude toward her, perhaps, former secretary clinton that i have toward dick cheney and that's how it's pronounced. >> it could be. by the way, that favorability number among democrats in new hampshire, don't forget new hampshire has a woman governor, two women senators. >> your point being? >> my point being is among women of all ages -- >> i know. >> -- that's hillary's base. it's demonstrated in new hampshire. >> just to continue my point, briefly, one second. dick cheney really is bad if what he's done. hillary clinton is really innocent. there's a difference here. anyway, thank you, howard fineman. thank you, joan walsh.
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up next, the sideshow. all-star double play coming up featuring, she wasn't governor long, but she's on our target zone for a long time. and louie gohmert. i don't know who his constituents are who keep this guy in office. this is "hardball." the place for politics. you make a great team. it's been that way since the day you met. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph like needing to go frequently or urgently.
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it's guidance on your terms, not ours. that's how our system works. e-trade. less for us. more for you. ha! back to "hardball." this is the sideshow. featuring two of our sideshow regulars. texas republican congressman louie gohmert, the big birther down there in texas, and sarah palin, of course. first, congressman gohmert is back to his favorite topic, the takeover of the united states by muslim extremists. now he's linking that to the boston marathon attack. gohmert said president obama's not doing enough to combat american islamists because he says the muslim brotherhood has infiltrated the obama administration. >> it's very clear to everybody but this administration that radical islam is at war against us. and i'm hoping either this administration will wake up or a new one will come in at the next
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election before irreparable damage is done. this administration has so many muslim brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for america. >> in another interview, gohmert said he doesn't think the president personally is rooting for radical islam, it's just the people around the president that are the danger. here he is. "i don't ascribe any ill motive to obama. he has advisers around him that do not have the same goal as he does. he has people around him giving advice who support the muslim brotherhood, who steer him in wrong directions." again, believe it or not, this is a u.s. congressman talking. now to sarah palin. palin did not attend the white house correspondents' dinner saturday night but tweeted on the subject. "that white house correspondents' dinner was pathetic. the rest of america is out there working our asses off while these d.c. assclowns throw themselves a nerdprom." palin, of course, had a job as we know as governor of alaska but decided as we all know to take french leave. she's also left fox news. i just remember her coming to
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high-powered defense attorney judy clarke has signed on to represent dzhokhar tsarnaev. an nba committee decided that the attempt to send the kings to seattle and president obama supports jason collins who
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came out as gay today. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." with these simple declarative sentences, quote, i'm a 34-year-old nba center, i'm black and i'm gay, jason collins. in a cover story for "sports illustrated" in this passage collins described when he knew he had to come out. "i realized i needed to go public when joe kennedy, my old roommate at stanford and now a massachusetts congressman told me he just marched in boston's 2012 gay pride parade. i'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what joe had done filled me with envy. i was proud of him for participating but angry as a closeted gay man i couldn't cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. if i'd been questioned, i would have concocted half truths. what a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. i wanted to do the right thing
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and not hide anymore. i want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. i want to take a stand and say, me, too." well, today u.s. congressman joe kennedy put out a statement praising his friend, "for as long as i've known jason collins he has been defined by three things. this is really nice. his passion for the sport he loves. his unwavering integrity, and the biggest heart you will ever find. without question, or hesitation, he gives everything he's got to those of us lucky enough to be in his life. i'm proud to stand with him today and proud to call him a friend." joining me right now is "sports illustrated" senior writer, john wertheim who worked on the cover story, and joe, former president of the human rights campaign. joe, i know you. i don't know mr. wertheim. thank you. i want to get to the sports angle right now before we get to the human rights angle. what do you think this means, john, about the ability of gay people to participate in sports at the highest level without any kind of hesitation? >> yeah, this was always sort of an artificial, you know, an artificial division but at the
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same time this is a very significant moment. tens of thousands of men have played major pro sports. before today none while active had come out. i think in some ways sports is mirroring society and growing more comfortable with the issue. at the same time, it's interesting to see how this plays out in the next few weeks. this is really a watershed moment for sports. >> do you think he's going to get cheered in the games that follow right away? do you think reaction from the crowds who are always quite open about saying what they like or don't like, do you think he'll get cheers when he shows up on rival basketball courts? >> overwhelmingly. when he goes on the road, he's going to get standing ovations. if you follow social media today, if you sort of listen to the remarks from some of his colleagues, i think this is going to be the most popular player in the nba. there will obviously be, this is a polarizing issue, but i think the support will overwhelm any criticism. >> you know when he gets in the game, he's not a starter, joe. i'm learning all this because i'm not a big fan of some of these teams. i should be.
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he's not a starter. when he comes off the bench, i think there is going to be a wow. >> absolutely. that speaks to the transition we've seen. this is -- this is a moment when, you know, it feels like folks just don't want to kind of be supportive, they want to express their support. what's the greatest thing that happened today besides the beautiful remarks by joe kennedy? boston red sox asked him to throw out the first pitch in an upcoming game. >> wow. so branch rookie strikes again. this is a late breakthrough. right now the first lady just a few minutes ago tweeted these words. why does she have to tweet? she has a press conference. "so proud of you, jason collins. this is a huge step forward for our country. we've got your back. mo." that mo signoff means the tweet is from michelle obama. i get that. that is her signature. let me ask you about the game. you know, i remember back here, years ago, we had dave of the redskins who i believe after his career came out, if you will. is that something that's happened before? john?
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>> yeah, there have been a number of athletes who after their playing days have come out of the closet. i mean, you know, really in all four major sports. this is, again, the first active athlete to do this while playing. you know, he's a free agent. it will be interesting to see where he ends up. we're talking about jason collins. this player is still in the throes of his career and this is unprecedented. >> i think the country is still, you know, been fighting this fight for 20 years now of marriage equality now. the country is obviously not unanimous in either direction right now. and it's still somewhat of an issue that isn't quite settled yet. see it in the courts now being decided as well as in the states. let's take a look at a comment that wasn't so favorable. this is a tweet from a miami dolphin football player, mike wallace. "all these beautiful women in the world and guys want to mess with other guys?" anyway, he quickly deleted the tweet. "i'm not bashing anybody, don't have anything against anyone i
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just don't understand it." "mike wallace has apologized for his comments and we addressed be the matter with him. mikes comments do not review the views of the miami dolphins. we believe in a culture of inclusiveness and respect and any statements to the contrary are in no way acceptable to our organization." the first step was his impulsive reaction which is what we've heard about pro sports which is pretty homophobic then of course the ownership which makes money on the people coming to these games had a different view. >> we're talking about a workforce with thousands. there will be some homophobic and ill considered remarks. you really want to appear to be on the fringes, you really want to be marginalized and be deviant, make a homophobic remark like that. there's some commercial element to this and the ownership telling him to delete it. i think those few athletes who make tweets like that, who make comments like that are the ones who are going to realize they're really the once on the margins. >> he said, mike wallace, maybe he was being whimsical. he said, "never say anything that was right or wrong about this." >> if you look at the first tweet, that was about ignorance or malice. there are all these women out there.
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>> there are. >> that's a good point. >> give me a break. >> i mean, again, the positive tweets from people like kobe bryant, his teammates. >> yeah. >> there's just overwhelming number of positive reactions. >> i think it's great. by the way, i think it's interesting here, and i hope i say this the right way, he had to say it. there was no incidence. he played like a pro. it never came up in his work. it never came up in any way socially or in terms of professional ability. he came out and said something he didn't have to say and it has no meaning at all except it shows freedom and openness. it didn't have anything to do and won't have anything to do how good of plays and how many baskets he gets. thank you, john, for coming on from "sports illustrated." joe, thank you so much. keep up the fight. up next, president obama got great reviews saturday night at the white house correspondents' dinner.
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behind the laughs as always with humor was political truth, at least from the mouth or brain of the person talking. this was great because he got shots off the other night of people he didn't like too much. this is "hardball,". the place for politics. [ agent smith ] i've found software that intrigues me. it appears it's an agent of good. ge has wired their medical hardware with innovative software to be in many places at the same time. using data to connect patients to software, to nurses to the right people and machines. ♪ helping hospitals treat people even better, while dramatically reducing waiting time. now a waiting room is just a room. [ telephone ringing ]
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you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. with angie's list, i know who to call, and i know the results will be fantastic. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. catch this. senators who voted no on that background check vote are suffering in the polls. look at this. last week we told you how new hampshire republican kelly ayotte has slid 15 points in a new ppp poll. she's hardly alone now. look at this. arizona's jeff flake has become the most unpopular senator in the country since voting against background checks. he's at 32% approval in arizona. a republican. versus 51% disapproval, again, in arizona. up in alaska, lisa murkowski's no vote cost her as well. back in february she was among the most popular senators. now her approval is under 50% with almost as many disapproving as approving. now in ohio, rob portman, couldn't believe this, has lost a net of 18 points. he's now at 26% approval. 34% disapproval.
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those numbers were reversed six months ago. hmm. people like background checks, it looks like. maybe the senate needs to start listening to the people and not the gun lobby. we'll be right back. we work. we plan. ameriprise advisors can help you like they've helped millions of others. to help you retire your way, with confidence. ♪ that's what ameriprise financial does. that's what they can do with you. let's get to work. ameriprise financial. more within reach.
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to protect your dog from parasites. you need trifexis. visit our website to save up to $25. available by prescription from your veterinarian. we're back. comedian conan o'brien may have been the headliner at saturday's white house correspondents' dinner but the president stole the show with biting political commentary. >> thank you. thank you, everybody. how you like my new entrance music? rush limbaugh warned you about this. second term, baby. look in the mirror and i have to admit, i'm not the strapping young muslim socialist that i used to be. >> the president made fun of himself acknowledging some conservatives really can't stand him. >> you know that sheldon adelson spent $100 million of his own
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money last year an negative ads? you've got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. >> and always there were lots of jokes at the dinner and as always there were a lot of truths behind the laughs. lizz winstead is co-creator of "the daily show." and margaret is a political columnist with "bloomberg news." i've been to about 100 of these things now and i thought this was the best one. the president was as good as conan. conan was great. he did old-style snappers than more ironic satiric stuff he does and he was perfect for the occasion. let's get to the politics. obama settled some scores. he went after a lot of people there. buried in that humor was a lot of punch. >> i mean, and i think that's what's great. what i really loved about it was that he was -- america is paying so much attention that he got "a" ratings from everybody because everybody's watching.
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everybody knows who the people are that are after obama. he went for those targets and what i really love about each and every time he's done this, he's not afraid to go up to the line. he's not afraid to drop an "f" bomb and get bleeped. you know, he calls it like he but remember he did it about rahm emanuel a couple years back. when he chooses to go, he'll walk up to the line. no, you're correct. >> i think that was a quotation from rahm rather than a direct quote for him. anyway, margaret, it just seemed to me that when he said that young strapping muslim socialist he captured the image they construct of him in their minds. the right wing. >> yeah, that's perfect. and the essence of what's funny about it is either to get at a universal truth as he did when he said, michelle obama would take the $100 million that sh sheldon adelson had. and i thought the marco rubio line was one of the best when he said, you know, what about a first term senator? . h
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. >> he also took a job with himself. during a recent outreach. now here he is saying, you're trying to bring everyone in to join with them and include them. here he is reacting to that. >> i'm taking my charm offensive on the road. a texas barbecue with ted cruise, kentucky bluegrass concert with rand paul and a book burning with michelle bachmann. >> well, you know, a lot of people didn't like that list. your thoughts. >> well -- >> thought it was too much of a jab. it duoes suggest a certain historical reference with book burning and all. >> when you look at the historical comments that michelmichele bachmann has made about the president, and on and on and on. whether it's an hbo special or you're the president during the
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white house correspondence dinner, you're not only playing to the people in the room, but to the viewers. and he knows that and did it great. the twittersphere was loving that joke. >> i'm amazed how many people watch this, margaret. you don't get invited to the party, but show up anyway. >> a lot of people go to watch it on c span and come to the after parties. i disagree, i think book burning was a little jarring. that's not where we are. one of the things the president does is he doesn't really go after people in the room. the only time i saw him go after people in the room when he did donald trump and donald trump was really uncomfortable. >> he was frozen. >> he was frozen. one of the best ones, you know, he's aloof and people don't like him, a little joke and then he said and they want me to go have a drink with mitch mcconnell. you go have a drink with mitch mcconnell. i thought that was the line of the night. >> you think so too? everybody has this feel for mitch, it wouldn't be much of a drink in terms of it wouldn't be much of a moment. the president also talked about republicans' minority outreach
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efforts. this was my favorite. but he says they still haven't got it right. let's watch. >> i know rli still sorting out what happened in 2012. but one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job of reaching out to minorities. and, look, call me self-centered, but i can think of one minority they could start with. hello. >> liz, what did you think of that? i thought it was pretty nice of him to admit that was something they could have done a little nicer, like say let's work out one of these deals like the grand bargain. >> it was great because it's also then right after that, he also said now people say i don't reach out enough either. so he really covered his bases
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on -- >> you know what i thought. i thought conan adapted brilliantly to that audience. people have all had a few drinks, all right. you can't get into the sophisticated satire like he engages in, harvard humor doesn't work. he did snappers, one after another about 50 of them and they were almost amazingly successful. i thought he adapted right to that audience. >> firing off like that in that room in that environment, you know, it has that old-school kind of friars club roast feel to it and conan really did. and when you fire them off that quickly, people will remember your good zingers and he had good ones. >> i thought it was a great homage to henny youngman. >> and he loved that. >> why was the gavel there? >> best he's ever been in this kind of a setting. it is a tough room. >> tough room. >> both of those guys scored. thank you. oh, when we return, let me finish with how we got sold on getting into wars. how we still get sold on it and be very careful. you're watching "hardball" the place for politics. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit.
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let me finish tonight with this. i want to end where our started tonight. i want to go back and remind you and me both how we get into a war. what we do is allow ourselves to be sold on two basic steps, this dance is a two step. step one, tell ourselves that we have to get into it. if we don't fight, it means bloodshed then, of course, we get into it and there's more
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bloodshed. why? because we get into it by shooting and killing people. not just military people, necessarily, all kinds of people who has been to be living next to a mobile missile launcher or some other defensive weapon. why? because it's difficult. unless we're able to command the skies ourselves. and that means being able to carry through an effective campaign to knock out these anti-aircraft weapons before we go in. so let's make sure we aren't going to put our pilots in danger of getting shot down over damascus. we've heard before what a cake walk it was to go to war, it isn't, it wasn't in iraq. step two, here's the second old trick, put out the word that we must go to war. but before you go for that one, remember how you felt last time when you realized that absolute must reason turned out to be something very different. we may be able to change the course of that civil war in syria, but we're not likely to be able to pick the kind of winner we'd like. and i fear these words because the only sure result is the united states once again be killing thousands of islamic people on international
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television. i don't believe that's the way to quell the jihad out there. and every war becomes a war poster for the other side. we know that, they know that. this time. be smart. and that's "hardball" for now lt. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, thanks for joining us. there's a lot to talk about tonight, including the news that the first male athlete in a major american professional support came out of the closet today. and six months after superstorm sandy, there were more stunning reminders in the midwest about the dangers of extreme weather and new reports on just how much money it's costing you. plus, the latest in the fight over fixing the sequester cuts, plus click 3. but first, there's brand new
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